Announced today https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/400m-for-wa-rail-upgrade-after-record-grain-harvest $400m for grain lines in WA. Where is the real money in Victoria?
Now look closely, there is only $200 million for the railway lines themselves, it is:
- $68 million for extended sidings at grain bins at eleven sites;
- $60 million for the upgrade from 16 TAL to 19 TAL on the Geraldton main line, but only a small part of the 16 TAL remaining on that line to allow for through movement at the higher axle loading;
- $72 million for the Narrogin Kulin line (Tier 3), but looks like only to the Wedin siding for the kaolin loading facility to be built there. The kaolin is to be shipped to the Kwinana plant for processing/export. Remainder of the Kulin line waiting on some funding/minimum quantities to be committed from CBH most likely.
The other $200 million is CBH funding upgrades to overhead loading bins and grain storage facilities across the network, not the rail itself.
At the moment, if it wasn't for Alcoa (southwest main), iron ore (SG lines and Morowa to Geraldton) and grain (everything else), we would only have the SG connection to the east coast remaining.
- Two million tonnes out of Greenbushes to Bunbury/Kwinana? Apparently not worth reopening 88km of closed line for that, road trains will handle it.
- Five high productivity hay plants on the Northam to Albany line alone? Apparently no freight there to chase, road trains will handle it.
- New grain facilities for Bunge (admittedly only ground storage in bulkheads) installed - not near freight lines, but the roads upgraded specifically for road trains (I know this, as I was the project manager for at least 37kms of those upgrades).